Nevada-Las Vegas

Reviews Part 2 10/11/2011

Hey everybody! As I said in my last reivew I was going to split them into two parts, so now I will review everyone who helped to make our day possible....or hinder in some cases, lol!

Francesca Lombardo - Bobbie Pin Beauty  A++
Francesca is LOVELY, I first met her two days before the wedding when she did my trial for my bachelorette party and she made me feel HOT, I loved my eye make-up!! For my wedding we decided to tone it down slightly and I felt beautiful. Everyone commented on how amazing I looked. I was a bit weary on the eyelashes but to be honest they make the pics look awesome. She has an extremely calm demeanor and is so professional! 

I explained to her ahead of time that both my mum and sister would be her hardest clients (they don't wear makeup and are extremely picky), when she asked my mum how she felt afterward she replied "like a clown" (she looked beautiful) Francesca didn't get upset or even look bothered. At one point my suite was full of loud obnoxious women (my bestest friends, lol) and I was feeling extremely overwhelmed and to be honest she just chatted away and I think it was the most calming thing possible!

The only thing I would recommend is making sure you use the blotting papers if you are oily, looking at the pictures now later in the night I am a bit shiny but I was dancing like a crazy lady and I think I only blotted once, and my wedding was outside.

Bell Trans - A
I probably should have written them reviews on part 1 and part 2 because we used Bell Trans 4 times over the course of time we were in Vegas and to be honest I have no complaints at all. The first time I used them was the night of the bachelor and bachelorette parties and we used the 24 passenger bus, they picked 12 of us up from the Villa, we dropped off the boys at Hooters and picked up some of the other girls from Hooters and 12 of us carried on to Society Cafe at Encore all for $65. The 24 passenger bus is only $65 per hour and they only have a one hour is a bargain if you have to get a large group of people anywhere in Vegas as cabs can be expensive.
The second time we used them was for transporting guests from MGM Grand to the Villa for the rehearsal dinner, we were running about 15 mins late and they waited and there was no problem at all.

For the wedding itself we had a limo pick up the wedding party at Signature and the 24 passenger bus picked up the guests at MGM Grand and took them to the wedding. We actually made the bus wait until after the wedding and used that to transport the wedding party to the LV sign for pics and back to the Villa. And finally at the end of the night we had the bus come back and make two trips to the strip for all of our guests. We had various drivers who were friendly and no problems at all. Probably the only negative thing was the limo, it was a bit old but to be honest it was one of the only one I could find that was a 1 hour minimum and for $80 I can't complain.

Debi Fit For a Bride -     B-
I originally contacted Debi because I bought my dress in the states and I had to go back to the UK and I was not going to see my dress until a few days before the wedding. I knew my dress fit perfectly except for the length so I only needed that taken up and I bought a sash that I wanted cut and sewn into the back of my dress she said those alterations would not be a problem in a short amount of time.

First impressions were fantastic, I map quested the directions to her house and ended up at some residential neighborhood which apparently was her house 5 years ago!!!! So ladies beware and use the address on her website and don't just mapquest it. So I was actually abot 30 mins late for my appt, when I called to explain they were so nice. I went for my fitting and everything was great, we marked the length and she pulled the sash tight and asked me what I thought, great! I added a few more items for steaming and they stated since there were so many items that it would need two people for delivery and it would be $30 not $15, no problem. We arranged a drop-off for the day before the wedding and as it turned out we were running  about 15 mins late, since we were staying at the MGM Signature they needed the tower number once we checked in I called them and gave it to them and told them just to leave it with the bell desk since I had to go and pick up some of our wedding party to be back for the DD bus tour.

This is where things started to go a bit pear shaped, as I am sitting waiting for my car from valet an old beat up hatchback pulls up and I see a guy talking to the valet, the valet pulls out a luggage cart and this guy (by himself) starts handing garments to the bellman. I immediately walk over and it turns out yes that is my wedding dress lying in his back seat with all of his seats folded down and all of our items so why I was charged an extra $15 for delivery for two people i'll never know and it certainly wasn't how I expected that fabulous dress to travel, lol!

The real problem came the next morning and I am blaming myself for two reasons, 1 - I never checked the dress until the morning because I left Signature went on DD bus and had rehearsal and didn't arrive back until late 2- the only thing I can say is lack of communication on my part when I went for my fitting. 

When I opened the dress and looked at the back instead of the sash being sewn in a hook and eye clasp was put on the sash......this would not work as the sash went right over my corset back, I sat looking at it thinking something must be wrong? Surely a seamstress would never put a sash right over one of the nicest parts of the dress? I had a slight bridezilla moment and had my sister call her, I will giver her her due she came over and took the clasp off and gave us four pieces of velcro in its place. Needless to say the velcro never stuck on the material and I had to steal pins from the boys flowers and pin the sash on......a bit of a pain and not at all what I asked for. I went back to my emails and they specifically ask her to cut and sew a sash into my dress. Ladies and gents, take this as a lesson to be as specific as possible because it was one aggravation and frustration that I did not need.

Stuart Wishart (Bagpiper) - A++
This was our bagpiper for the ceremony and he was fantastic! He played continuously while guests were arriving and when I arrived.  He piped the wedding party and myself in, and me and my new hubby away. He stayed for 45 mins longer than expected due to our minister showing up late and didn't complain or even ask for any more money (I gave him a much bigger tip). He stayed for a bit of the cocktail hour and had a few drinks, he was very personable and I highly recommend him!

Retro Bakery - A++
They were fantastic!!! I think I drove Brian crazy about designs, we wanted a cupcake tower and I wanted to incorporate our tartan into the cake and I had absolutely no idea how. In the end we did a small cake on top that was tartan and matched our colors exactly, and all of the cupcakes were matched to various colors in our tartan. We had 5 dozen cupcakes, with all different flavors to be honest we had about half of the cupcakes left over and it was so sad cause we never ate any of the cake except for the piece we cut. Most of our group don't eat sweets while drinking but for those who did they said they were sooooo good. The red velvet (not sure what they call it) was the first to disappear, and I finally ate a butterscotch the next day it was yummy!

Michael Witting (officiant) - C+

Pastor Mike is a local church pastor and I believe he works at Caesar's one day a week as I had seen him on a few of the other brides videos and really liked him so I contacted his church and asked him if he would be willing to officiate our wedding at a private home and he said yes. He is extremely nice and professional over the phone, he asked what we wanted and I said a basic civil ceremony, his price is very affordable.

However in our case there was an EXTREME miscommunication. While waiting for the limo to pick us up one of my bridesmaids who was at the Villa called to ask where the minister was. We then called him two times and left messages, when he called back he was nearly speechless! He had us in his schedule for the next day, when he explained he could be there in an hour because he didn't have a suit, I told him to get there as quickly as possible and I didn't care if he was wearing shorts and t-shirt!! He was extremely humble and apologetic and he stated he wouldn't be able to make it up to me but he would do his best and there would be no charge.

In the end our ceremony was lovely, very short, sweet and simple, exactly what we wanted. I chose to pay him the amount I always intended including tip. At the end of the day we are all human and make mistakes and I feel it could've been a much bigger disaster had he not turned up at all! Therefore our entire wedding started 45 mins late. Wish I could have given him more as he was very nice, I have since gone back and looked at emails and all of my dates state 10/11/11 so I am not sure what happened.

Bently & Wilson - Todd  A++
Todd was great, very personable and most of the time you didn't really even know he was there. I had the pictures sent to my sister in Florida and she has already seen them and says they are amazing! I have only seen them online but from what I have seen they look really good.
One regret I have was not being that patient while taking pictures. I was fine with the bridal party at the LV sign and at Sunset Park but once we got back to the house and my mum wanted pictures with every aunt, uncle and cousin I had enough. I definitely wish I would have had a list of must take shots....I really wish I had one of just me and my mum, and one of just me and my sister and I didn't get that. Also one of the bridal party on the large staircase at the house.
The only thing that was a bit strange was the prints he sent and the disc were not in any kind of order? I am not sure if other brides have had that but she said when she got them they were all mixed up and when she loaded the disc they start off sequentially and then just jump about??? Not sure if she is doing something wrong but I would prefer them in order.
But apart from that a very nice, affordable, consistent vendor.

Pam @ the Palette - A ++

I told Pam that I wanted white flowers for the girls, purple for myself and a mixture for the centerpieces. I was not specific about the flowers and I really didn't budget alot for them and I also ordered centerpieces in a low silver urn.

What I got was a mixture of purples for myself and the girls as well as the tables and they were BEAUTIFUL!! She really knows her stuff with the flowers and I am so glad they turned out the way they did. She also upgraded me to glass with purple beads for the centerpieces and I was so sad to leave them all behind! They were stunning and so many people commented on them. FYI - she mentioned there would be carnations as fillers and I know alot of people consider them cheap but honestly you couldn't tell.....they were perfect!!

Masterpiece Cuisine - A++

I dealt with Scott at the start and then mostly Josh and then we had TJ as our banquet captain. We had two hours of passed apps (4 apps), an antipasti station with meats, cheeses, and crackers as well as a full buffet with 3 entrees (salmon, london broil, and chicken) as well as 3 sides. We also asked Masterpiece to provide all tables, chairs, linen, china etc.....they are really great with communication especially considering one week before our wedding they were moving offices. I will admit I had a slight bridezilla moment on poor Josh when he sent me what I thought was an incorrect email and he was extremely patient with me.

TJ met us a few days before the wedding to do a walk through(which we were about 15 mins late for....Vegas traffic sucks) and really helped us logistically where I didn't think we would have enough space. Also when the minister turned up late  and caused everything to start late they ended up staying about 30 mins longer than expected and didn't charge us. We had TONS of food left over, I was originally going to order pizza as a late night snack but when I saw how much food was left we just turned on the ovens and heated it up at about 10 and the feast began again!! Everyone raved about the food and these guys were so amazing I highly recommend them!!

Culinary Pros - A++
We hired a Day of Coordinator for 5 hours and a bartender for 5 hours. Because neither me nor my bridesmaids would be at the house I enlisted my sister-in-law to do all of the work, I hired the coordinator so they could work hand in hand and she was fantastic. She really helped my sis-in-law out and we couldn't have done all the set-up without her, and for $150 for the 5 hours she was MUCH cheaper than any other coordinator I found.....because we didn't need "a wedding planner" I think it was great value for money all you had to do was leave a list and they would get it done, I think for most in-suite brides this would be an excellent option.

Jason was our bartender and he was great. I think he was a bit heavy on the vodka to start for alot of the Scottish drinkers.....because all alcohol is sold premeasured here the heavy pour was a bit shocking at first, lol! He kept the shots flowing especially the jaeger bombs! When it was his time to leave we asked him to stay for an additional hour and he said no problem! The owner Sari even stopped by just before dinner to make sure everything was okay, also there office is where we shipped 5 HUGE boxes full of stuff several days before the wedding and we picked them up and there was no problem. Great vendor!

Travis Allen - A++
As usual Travis was great and our guests loved him! I kept him a secret from almost everyone and it was fab! I did ask him to sing an uncommon Elvis song and unfortunately he didn't know it but other than that he was great, and stayed to take pictures.

Funny story -one of my cousins who throws cash around a bit was a bit obnoxious and bet Travis $100 that he couldn't sing "Love me Tender".....what an IDIOT!! Needless to say Travis could sing it and I made him pay up!!

And finally.....................

DJ Godzilla (aka Calvin) aka DJ Gorilla (to one of my drunk friends A++

Calvin was awesome. I didn't give him a must play or do not play list. And I also didn't have a father-daughter song arranged when I asked Calvin if he had a song he had one without a problem. He kept the music flowing and when it got a bit heavy with rap we asked him to play one of our friends ipods with a bit more British music that he didn't have, then the dance floor started jumping!! Calvin was actually dancing with us and taking pictures of us with his own camera. When he played our final song "Loch Lomond" (a traditional Scottish anthem, lol) the place was bouncing!! When the entire group started chanting "one more tune" he played three more songs. 

Afteward he finally agreed to eat something and when sitting and chatting with my family he said it was the wildest wedding he had ever been to, lol! He was really nice, and so agreeable. I knew he wouldn't have alot of the music half of our group liked but I am glad he didn't take offense to us using the ipod, he also downloaded a few songs that we requested.

Edited***- Shopette Nellis Air Force Base - A++
This is where we bought all of our alcohol for the wedding. My dad is retired Navy so we have access to the base. If you have any friends or family members who are servicemen or retired it is SERIOUSLY worth the trip! If you buy more than any 6 1.75 liters of spirits than it is 10% off (unless they are on sale) and every case of wine is also 10% off!

They had a sale on most liquors so the vodka (Smirnoff) was $13.20 for a 1.75L bottle.....and since it is on the base there is no tax!! They were so nice and helpful, we got all of our beer, liquor and wine here......we got our mixers from the commissary and I ended up getting  champagne at Trader Joe's which was also great!

FYI - I forgot to mention we got the wine for our rehearsal at Trader Joe' was kind of an afterthought, great prices and great service!! 

All in all our wedding was exactly what we wanted. There were a few mishaps but nothing that ruined our day. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask and I hope you find use in these reviews. Thanks Vegas knotties for all of your help!!

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Re: Reviews Part 2 10/11/2011

  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for the detailed review!
    Your wedding, to me seemed pretty amazing...
    I just love the emerald green!
    Best Wishes on you Honeymoon!
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  • themrsJRDthemrsJRD member
    100 Comments Second Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    Yay! I'm really excited that you posted that you already have seen/received your pics from Todd. My wedding was 3 days after yours so I'm hoping mine are coming SOON!!!! :) But congrats!!!
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  • edited December 2011
    Yeah! Awesomely detailed reviews. Congrats.

    I'll echo of my biggest tips that I would offer other brides is to be SUPER detailed with your vendors and CONFIRM plans like a million times. I feel like all the things that didn't go quite right could have been avoided if I had done one final confirmation with my vendors the day before or the day of. So I'm kicking myself about that!

    Sounds like you had a lovely wedding and I'm glad the mishaps didn't ruin your day! Back to working on my reviews. :)
  • justine043justine043 member
    edited December 2011
    thanks for the reviews!
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  • Any chance you can share some of the prices? I am going with a few of the same vendors as you ie: materpiece, dj godzilla, retro bakery. also thinking about the palette. thanks
    Canadian Bride getting married at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas on October 19th, 2013
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